Dining Outside at Mago
If you’re on the hunt for a relatively reasonably priced tasting menu full of soulful flavors, where you don’t have to get dressed up fancy, and can sit comfortably at a heated outdoor patio, look no further than Oakland’s Mago.
Its name is Spanish for magician, and Chef-Owner Mark Liberman and his staff of just five certainly perform wizardry with such a small crew.
Opened in 2019, it’s Liberman’s first solo project, following his stint in San Francisco at the shuttered AQ restaurant.
Last week, I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant for dinner. There’s only one tasting menu offered each night, though vegetarian and vegan versions are always available on request.
It’s $75 per person for about eight courses, which are moderate in size, but all together will definitely leave you sated at the end. Because Liberman takes a vegetable-focused approach to his rustic, Colombian-meets-California dishes, you’ll leave plenty full yet still feeling buoyant.
With the tasting menu lasting about two hours, I was pleasantly surprised at how many diners were indulging in it on a school night (Wednesday). Ease-dropping, I could tell quite a few were regulars, too, which is always a good sign.Read more